- Weekly: **Unemployment Initial Claims Data have been revised**
- US: Housing Starts by State and Region (Feb)
- CPB World Trade Monitor (Jan)
- CPB World Trade Monitor (Jan)
- France: Registered Unemployed & Job Vacancies (Feb)
- US: Household Employment for States and Regions (Feb)
- US: Wholesale Trade Revisions, Advance Durable Goods (Feb)
- Manufacturing Survey - Markit US (Flash - Mar), Composite Survey - US (Flash - Mar), Services Survey - US (Flash - Mar)
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
Correction to Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims
The Department of Labor has issued a correction to yesterday's annual revision to seasonally adjusted weekly unemployment claims...
EMU PMIs Are Off to the Races...Farewell Mediocrity?
The PMI rankings for the manufacturing and service sector PMIs in the EMU are suddenly off the chart...
U.S. New Home Sales Improve While Prices Decline
Sales of new single-family homes increased 6.1% (12.8% y/y) during February to 592,000 units (AR)...
Kansas City Federal Reserve Factory Index Strengthens; Expectations Surge
The Kansas City Fed reported that its index of regional manufacturing sector business activity increased to 20 during March...
U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Rise
Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased to 258,000 (-3.0% y/y) during the week ended March 18...
U.K. Retail Looks Less Bulletproof
For the most part, the assessments embodied in the March survey from the UK's CBI are being taken as being upbeat...
by Tom Moeller March 14, 2016
Recent improvement in factory sector production has strengthened industrial commodity prices. The industrial price index from the Foundation for International Business and Economic Research (FIBER) increased 3.7% during the last four weeks. Nevertheless, prices remained down 8.4% during the past year as worldwide factory output remained under pressure.
Within the sector groupings of prices, the FIBER indexes showed gains for most products. In the crude oil & benzene area, the cost of WTI crude oil jumped to $37.37 per barrel last week, up 30.0% in from the cycle low four weeks ago. Prices for the petro-chemical benzene also strengthened 11.6% last month, but remained down 13.5% y/y. In the metals sector, copper scrap prices improved 8.8%, but remained off 14.8% y/y. Aluminum prices also bounced 5.2% higher (-10.1% y/). Steel scrap prices continued to fall, however, by 1.2% last month and by roughly one-quarter y/y. In the miscellaneous price grouping, natural rubber prices jumped 17.1% m/m and were up roughly one-quarter from the January low. Framing lumber prices also showed strength and improved 2.3% m/m. Prices for structural panels similarly gained 1.5% m/m, but were 7.2% lower than a year earlier. Prices in the textile sector have shown little strength. Cotton prices declined 4.5% m/m and were down 6.8% y/y. On the strong-side have been burlap prices, up roughly one-third y/y.
Overall, commodity prices could improve further. The current industrial output projection from the National Association for Business Economics calls for 2.2% U.S. production growth in 2016, up from 1.5% growth in 2015. During the last ten years, there has been a 52% correlation between the three-month change in prices and the change in industrial output.
Commodity price data can be found in Haver's DAILY, WEEKLY, USECON and CMDTY databases.
|FIBER Industrial Materials Price Index (1990=100)||1-Mth %||3-Mth %||6-Mth %||12-Mth %||2015 %||2014 %||2013 %|
|Cotton (cents per pound)||-4.5||-1.0||-8.3||-6.8||2.6||-24.2||10.8|
|Aluminum ($ per metric ton)||5.2||6.3||-1.5||-10.1||-19.2||9.4||-15.8|
|Copper Scrap (cents per pound)||8.8||7.7||-6.7||-14.8||-27.0||-12.0||-6.8|
|Steel Scrap ($ per ton)||-1.2||18.3||-21.5||-27.0||-53.8||-18.6||8.4|
|Crude Oil & Benzene||12.6||-2.1||-6.4||-12.1||-19.4||-26.5||0.8|
|Crude Oil (WTI, $ per Barrel)||30.0||-0.9||-17.1||-23.2||-35.8||-43.2||10.3|
|Framing Lumber ($ per 1000 board ft.)||2.3||1.3||6.0||-7.3||-16.4||-1.6||3.5|
|Natural Rubber (cents per pound)||17.1||13.4||9.2||-11.5||-22.5||-32.3||-9.8|